Jourdan Duncan – Staff Writer –
As a representative of Programs Council’s entertainment committee, Candice Medley said that they do their best to come up with ideas to provide students with fun activities and events that are fitting to the holiday season at the time.
Friends of Rudolph is a campus-wide event held every year that involves Southern students giving back to children of the New Haven community by putting together a series of stations on campus where they can participate in Christmas-themed activities. Senior history major and chairman of the Friends of Rudolph committee Marcus D’lorio said this is his favorite event to plan.
“Friends of Rudolph is one of the biggest university initiatives that Southern has and it’s where we bring in over 1,000 students from the New Haven community,” D’lorio said. “This year we are expecting about 1,000-1,200 students to come in. We give them a snack, a present at the very end, do arts and crafts in the ballroom, take photos with Mrs. Claus, and we all just have a really fun experience because a lot of these children, this may be their holiday and we want to try to make it as good as possible for them.”
D’lorio said it’s been over 20 years that Student Government and Service Team have helped plan and organize the event for the entire university to take part in.
“What Southern students will get out of this is a really great volunteer experience to work with children, especially because we are a huge nursing and education school,” D’lorio said.
“Those who are in those programs will get a lot of firsthand experience working with children during this event. They also get great experience dealing with the parents because you never know what you’re going to get going into the field, but overall the students are really going to get a sense of pride in Southern because it is such a large event that we put on.”
Junior Spanish major Chelsea Schillizzi said she participated in Friends of Rudolph the last two years on campus and plans on taking part in it this year as well.
“It’s awesome because it’s all people from the New Haven area that can’t really afford Christmas or the holidays,” Schillizzi said. “And they can’t afford to give presents to their kids so they come in and it’s just a nice day for them and they are so happy and grateful.”
Schillizzi said she enjoyed being an elf last year as one of the guides for the children and some of the stations included: caroling, arts-and-crafts, and pictures with Santa.
“It’s so nice to see their faces how excited they are and since they don’t get that at home, they get it here so it’s nice to be a part of it,” Schillizzi said.